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Texas State economic impact on state grows to more than $2 billion

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 18, 2014

Texas State University's economic impact on the state of Texas grew to approximately $2.2 billion annually in fiscal year 2013, more than double the amount recorded seven years ago, according to an economic impact study released by the university.

The study was conducted by James P. LeSage, holder of the Fields Endowed Chair in Urban and Regional Economics in the Department of Finance and Economics in Texas State’s McCoy College of Business Administration.

In the study, LeSage examined jobs and economic activity created as a result of spending by the university, faculty, staff and students in Hays County, the Central Texas region (defined as Hays County plus the counties of Bastrop, Bexar, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Travis and Williamson) and the entire state of Texas. The study is based on data collected for the 2013 fiscal year.

"This study not only illustrates that Texas State plays a key role in the economic vitality of the San Marcos region and the entire state, but that the university’s financial impact is growing at a remarkable pace," said Denise M. Trauth, president of Texas State. "As we expand our research activities and grow our research park, Texas State’s impact on the state’s higher education aspirations and economic interests will be even greater."

The study shows that at the state level, Texas State has a total economic impact of $2.2 billion, while helping create more than 29,000 jobs. Regionally, those figures show an economic impact of $1.6 billion and 23,000 jobs. In its home county of Hays, Texas State generates a total economic impact of $1.1 billion annually and contributes to the creation of more than 17,000 full-time jobs.

That marks a dramatic increase over the previous Texas State economic impact study conducted for fiscal year 2006. In the earlier study, the university's economic impact was $960 million annually and 13,800 jobs statewide; $749 million and 11,530 jobs regionally; and $545 million and 9,300 jobs locally.

Well over half ($1.4 billion) of the $2.2 billion total impact on the economy of the state of Texas arises from direct, indirect and induced spending by Texas State students and visitors. The remainder ($822 million) arises as a result of university and employee spending. The Hays County and regional analyses do not include economic impacts from spending related to Texas State's Round Rock campus, which is factored into the impact the university has on the entire state.

With approximately 2,500 full-time employees, Texas State is the largest single employer in Hays County.

"Recent enrollment growth of the university and growth in student spending has had a remarkable impact on the economy of the county, region and state," LeSage said.

This fall, enrollment at Texas State topped 36,700 students, making it the state's fourth-largest university.

An economic impact study considers the multiplier effect of direct spending by the university, faculty, staff and students that arises when dollars injected into the local economy are spent by businesses and their employees in the county, region and state. Based on an input-output analysis of spending flows through the local economy, every dollar spent by students produces $1.43 of economic activity in Hays County, and a dollar spent by the university, faculty and staff produces $1.38 of activity in the county.

LeSage holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Toledo and a doctorate in the same field from Boston College. Before joining the Texas State faculty, he served on the faculty of the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. He is past president of the North American Regional Science Council, a fellow of the Regional Science Association International, Southern Regional Science Association and the Spatial Econometrics Association.

The complete Economic Impact Study may be found at